Course Description

The discipline of information systems focuses on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of an organization. The purpose of IS is to analyze, design, develop, and implement information technology strategies to solve business problems and to enable the organization to meet its goals and business challenges.

While most courses of this type provide some combination of strategic/managerial overview with specific office/database/web page skills, this course will take a different approach. Readily available open source platforms for the web (like Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla!) make it possible for any business student to dive in and start delivering technology that has business value. These open source platforms offer the basic functionality of a real, industrial-strength website 'out of the box'.

The course is designed such that students can get started relatively quickly, without having to train as if they were building an entire website or database from a blank sheet of paper. They can gain experience with content organization, administration, analytics, advertising and search issues, and, most importantly, real users more quickly than ever before.

In short, the overall objective is to take business undergraduates from zero technical experience to launching their own websites with a real user base in a single semester.

Course Objectives

  • The student will be able to prototype business-quality websites with attractive, well-organized content, active online community, analytics, and advertising.
  • The student will be able to serve web pages, style sheets, and applications from a hosting service.
  • The student will be able to connect to web-based advertising and other web services.
  • The student will be able to install, configure, and modify prototype business sites using open-source content management systems.
  • The student will be able to build and manage online communities.
  • The student will be able to publicize sites, and track user activities with analytics.
  • The student will understand the basics of business requirements and development cycles.

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